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Panel Discussion on World War II

A panel of authors discusses little-known stories about World War II.




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Franklin Roosevelt 8, America 7, Washington 7, United States 6, England 6, U.s. 5, Virginia 5, Italy 5, Kimmel 5, Vietnam 4, Winnie 4, Pearl Harbor 3, Philippines 3, New York 3, United 3, Ronald Reagan 3, Germany 3, Charlottesville 2, San Francisco 2, Boston 2,
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  CSPAN    Panel Discussion on World War II    A panel of authors discusses  
   little-known stories about World War II.  

    May 3, 2014
    2:35 - 3:36pm EDT  

evaluatioevaluatio ns. we will have a book signing in and have a good day and enjoy yourself at the festival. [inaudible conversations] up next from the 2014 festival of the book a panel of little-known stories from world war ii. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. my name is art beltrone and i will be the moderator for this afternoon's world war ii prograe known stories.
it should be a fascinating event first of all i would like to thank the city of charlottesville for providing this wonderful venue. every year they do so for the virginia festival of the book and it's really outstanding for both the authors and the audience. i will also thank charlottesville's on tv 10 for broadcasting today's session. just a reminder, this session is being recorded so when it comes time for the q&a session raise your hand. you will be recognized but a microphone will be passed to you so that you can pose your question. it's important that you speak into the microphone so the question can be recorded. please, please turn off any cell phones that you might have with you. the festival is free of charge and not free of cost though.
please remember that the virginia festival of the book is sponsored by the virginia foundation for the humanities. there are ways to support this organization by direct support or otherwise. at the information desk at the omni are envelopes in which you can place a contribution should you desire. you have been handed yellow sheets. these are very important because they are evaluations for the program and this helps in next year's session. so please take the time to address the answers to that. there will be books sold, both of the author's books are here and michael green of the reback and company leslie provides part of that sale to the virginia festival of the book. this afternoon we have two wonderful authors and i'm going to introduce them in the order
in which they will speak. both of them have a bit of an audio or visual presentation. i guess they are both visual presentations. they will be doing the speaking but first up will be cheryl jogensen-earp on my left, immediately on my left. she is the author of "discourse and defiance under nazi occupation". it's a fascinating subject to stock the coast of england. she's a professor of communication studies at the department of lynchburg college and she was named virginia professor of the year by the carnegie foundation in 2001. craig shirley on the far left of myself is the author of "the new york times" bestseller "december 1941". he is an acclaimed historian. he has authored two reagan
books, reagan's revolution and "rendezvous with destiny" and he is the reagan scholar at eureka college and a widely sought after commentator and speaker. without further ado i would like to introduce cheryl and her presentation with her book. >> on the british channel island of guernsey everyone seems to be in a dreadful hurry. if you wander today through the narrow winding streets of st. peter you may hear rapid footsteps behind you as young and not so young islanders walk briskly past. i once felt the light sharper wrap up a woman's cane on my leg 85 if she was a day, to urge me out of the way if i lollygag through the narrow winding streets that is an extension of their high street and the curves gently down toward the harbor. it almost seems to me as if these busy people will run out
of room and continue walking purposefully write off the island and into the english channel. but if you leave saint peter port or one of the other little towns that dot the edge of the island you might walk through a dark fragrant forest for a long one of the many high cliff paths where the vertigo inspiring plunges to the rocks in foam below. a walk down the roads of guernsey in the middle of the island has a storybook feel with the hedgerows, stone walls and shady lanes of the british countryside. in a field close by there likely will be guernsey cows comfortable he grazing comet each one attached by a long rope to her individual stake just like a dog in a suburban backyard. yet walk down another lane back toward the sea and there it stands, cold and stark against the sky, a german watchtower.
there's there something really jarring about the juxtaposition of nazi germany with guernsey's ancient towns in narrow streets yet the channel islands guernsey and jersey alternately with the only pieces of british land captured in acute hide for five long years by the germans. i think we have a little catching up to do here. i will just carry on and we will catch up with it. i notice whenever i'm there that islanders have quite an emphasis on sound, the sound of martial music in their street, the ring of jack boots that echoed off the buildings of their high street and in that there is some sense of violation but also a fascination of this simple incongruity of the whole thing. now what was that oddness that always fascinated me ever since i started visiting guernsey in
the 1970s. i was introduced to the island courtesy of my older sister who had the good sense to meet and marry a guernsey man. so i spent many years going back and forth to visit them. we were just going because it was such a beautiful place to visit. i was always struck when i went there
gossip and rumor became new means of sending information around the island. they also served as very effective means of control. second, they use, narratives, stories, jokes, puns ,-com,-com ma to readings of german propaganda as ways to make sense of their experience and to bolster feelings of common british patriotism. and third, they came up with symbolic resistance through coded messages that they would send in red cross messages back to england. the reverend ford was excellent at coding messages into his sermons and through the visual
displays of patriotic colors. they also did quite a bit of illegal information gathering. when wireless sets were confiscatconfiscat ed some islanders hit bears were they built very small crystal sets that could be easily tucked away in different places. i had great fun telling some of the tales of how they hit the sets from the germans. groups such as guns, the guernsey underground news service consisted of guernsey men and women who listen to secret wireless sets, typed out the nes on then tomato packing paper and sent the news around the island. some of these very brave people were arrested and sent to prison on the continent and some of them died there. guernsey was also very active in their own version of the campaign that took place all over europe where che's for
victory were chalked in solid piece of ground. i interviewed in 2003 and 2004 my buddy. he passed away in 2006 and this is alpha as a young man. alpha alpha and one of his mates made thee for victory brooches out of english coins where king george's head seems to rise transiently out of the thee and guernsey people would wear these brooches inside the lapels of their coats so that they could flash them to other guernsey people in the streets right under the germans noses. now with that overview i want to tell two quick stories of the former persistence used in guernsey and one that i think is very often overlooked. it's the ancient concept of hargeisa.
in its english translation that comes out as free speech or fearless speech. in part he's a speaker values over safety and views oppositional speech is a duty to the larger community. they exercise of party should demand the courage to speak in spite of some danger. the germans knew the danger to them if oppositional speech and verbal confrontations went unpunished so our arrests for speech with a called unguarded speech started very early in the occupation and extended very late. mrs. wanted for green proved to be a good example and i'm telling you these stories. i won't try to do the guernsey accent although my brother-in-law has a pet phrase that he likes. he often will say oh yes will pigs fly which gives you some idea of what it sounds like create winnie green worked as a
waitress in the royal hotel and the royal hotel served as the first german headquarters on guernsey so when he was surrounded by germans and their support staff, a situation filled with a lot of possible danger for somebody as patriotic and outspoken as mrs. green. this was chef at the hotel was a great admirer of hitler. to the same extent winnie green was an ardent admirer of winston churchill. a teasing relationship developed between the two with the chef greeting mrs. green every day with good morning mrs. green, heil hitler and winnie retortinf hyle churchill. the staff lunches became this lively tit-for-tat back-and-forth with the chef crowing over any positive german
war news. have you heard the news mrs. green? germany has taken yugoslavia. one day it was we have got the battleship to which when winnie came back several days later with pretty good news, we got the bismarck. now the danger for a subjugated people in such joking exchanges i think it's pretty apparent. in this case the chef and winnie green are in areas commenting on patriotism and war and matters of life and death and pretty soon the levity started to wear away. the comments became more bitter and full of meaning and finally one day the chef said to winnie, would you like some rice pudding mrs. green? yes, please she replied. only if you say heil hitler the chef david and after a few seconds when he burst forthwith
to hell with hitler for rice pudding and one made of skim milk at that. for that exchange and i think this is really important, one that when the green defiantly verett -- verify the trial she received six months in that prison in france. the germans saw such incidents not as pinpricks as they are often described but serious disruption to the seamless functioning of masterful domination. as long as insults are presented off stage or they are disguised they can be ignored but overt insubordination is being described as a dare, one that calls into question the whole relationship between dominator and dominated. sometimes a apparent compliance is shattered by a insubordination. she very bravely kept 10 pots
filled with new sheets of guns under the counter that she could get out of the islanders. she specialized in with double meaning. she used a small stage of her book shop as a place to entertain fellow islanders with attacks on german dignity. in november 1940 at german officer came in to find an english storybook that he could send to his daughter back in germany was learning english. did he have a book that she could recommend instantly? heap the political parity aid often blunder land and hands it over to him. oh yes the officer said looking it over i have heard it's a classic but i did not read english well myself very at now such publicly performed humor is a type as soleh linsky would say verbal jujitsu where the
opponents use it as an effective weapon against him. that kind of story would have been told and retold across the island multiplying its effect from person to person. average people saw in her response the flexing of the collective muscle and reverend oort described her in his diary by saying she has the pluck of a regiment. i think it's interesting that he uses martial language right they are. that is more imagery and it really was a little microwar that the guernsey islanders conducted to preserve their way of life. the genius of rhetorical resistance lies in its ability james scott said to nibble away at the power of the dominant. such actions are subtle. they're unlikely to overthrow the basic power structure.
but still it's been said that every day resistance is tenacious. had the worst happened and the war had been lost resistance forms would have been in place for an ongoing life of subversion. of course the liberation did come to the channel islands but the islanders creative and resistant use of information and the community that they formed through that defiance i think provides a very good example of the effectiveness of rhetorical resistance. [applause] >> he cheryl thank you. craig shirley you are up. >> thank you arden. >> thank you arden thank you cheryl pretty. i love that presentation. it was fascinating. i love writing books for a lot of reasons. one of them is i don't get a chance to meet people and
interview people and for this book i interviewed for instance john dingell former congressman dingell or soon-to-be former congressman dingell who was a 15-year-old page on the floor of the house of representatives on december 8, 1941. his father was a member of congress and would tell him about witnessing real history in the making. the day of infamy speech. i also interviewed a fellow by the name of j. dolly, 95 years old at west point class of 1939, was stationed at the army base in oahu and on december 7, 1941 was in his bunk ,-com,-com ma heard explosions, ran outside in his skivvies ,-com,-com ma was told by his co to start shooting anything he saw in the sky and he started doing that right there in the field in his underwear. you meet made all sorts of wonderful people.
december 41 last year i went on "the daily show" with jon stewart and i wasn't all that familiar with "the daily show". [laughter] there is a generational divide. we have four children and our kids know all about it. i wasn't all that familiar with it and i think there is a divide somewhere. we went up to new york to do the pre-interview and then do the show that night and i was in the hotel room with producer who calls. she has failed sorts of questions and then she says i don't know why bother to because john is going to ask you the questions you want to ask anyway. we make up the arrangements and where we are supposed to be in all the other stuff and finally as we are wrapping up the conversation i said jennifer, i don't not it's how you this but i think my kids are more excited about me going on with jon stewart on "the daily show" than
i am. there was a long pause and she said mr. shirley we have a lot of men your age. [laughter] that's one of the funnier sites. i have now written four books on ronald reagan. two have been published and one is with the publisher being edited now and i'm finishing up the fourth. i wanted to take a little bit of reagan and reaganism it in his presidency for many years. i always was interested in this period of time from the civilian standpoint. gordon craig wrote the definitive book on pearl harbor. nothing will ever surpass it. that was the greatest look written on december 7, 1941. there were various folks written
on how a change from december 7 and december 31 and the rest of the war. as i tell people i grew up in an andy hardy movie in upstate new york. .. i would listen to my grandparents, about it and you would hear my grandfather's say i'd thought that before the war but didn't sell it until after the war and they would talk
about margarine and mixing in the guy and how awful it tasted and think coffee and all those things. the other thing is my family was like most, everybody here was very much immersed in what was called the war effort. if you were not in uniform everybody still served in one way, shape or form. at least most americans did. my grandfather at the time was 43, 44 years old, tried to enlist three times and was turned down three times and was told three times by the draft board we are not that desperate. you are blind as a back and have dependents. we will call you if we need you so he became a civil defense broadcaster. both my grandmothers were rosy the rivers, one tested machine guns and the other was a bomb in specter. my father was a boy scout and government use the boy scouts to distribute promotional posters at churches and grocery stores
and bars, there were bars, posters, the government was producing, said if you're going to drink, shut up. loose lips shin sink ships. my mother had victory gardens tended scrap drives so everybody in my family including my father's oldest brother, you may have seen his picture up here, teammate -- made the ultimate sacrifice, he signed up, tried to sign up before he was allowed to end said no and as soon as you world enough that a certain age you had your parents' permission to go in early which he did. his nickname was barney. surely enlisted in the navy and was a radio operator. was shot down and killed on his 21st birthday in 1945. i was always grew up with all
these stories about the home life. america of world war 2, is tremendously different from the -- to wasn't even called world war ii, after december 11th, 1941. world war i wasn't called world war i, it was the war to end all wars which gave rise to new threatening powers which then led to world war ii. come out of world war ii the president of the united states from franklin roosevelt to barack obama and everyone in between is known as the most powerful man in the world, the leader of the free world. that wasn't a fixation of the united states president, there
were many powerful men and in russia, czars, england, the navy the ruble waves, that we were not the superpower, we are very isolationist from world war i. world war ii changes everything. you cannot put your finger on any part of american culture, society, silence, politics, everything changes. we reject the lead of nations. we pass into the 1930s which prohibited american troops leaving u.s. oil and that was the world in which we operated. we give rise to the america first movement after the nazi invasion of poland in september 1949 which if we
didn't respond to. december 7th and eighth is the one time in the history of the united states, we can ourselves we are united as a citizenry. we have never been united. we have always been divided. in the american revolution there was a lot of tory sympathizers in the united states. benjamin franklin's son was imprisoned as a tory sympathizer during the revolutionary war. we were not united during the war of 1812. the civil war was about the divisions in this country. spanish-american war again. even our entry into world war ii congress debated for many days and even then after wilson's request for a declaration of war said 15 members of the house and a handful of united states senators voted against our entry into world war i. obviously afghanistan and iraq, vietnam, all these wars we have been in since world war ii, we
have not been necessarily united as a country. obviously united in support of the military but not united in support of the politicians or the policy. the one time in the history of the united states we are complete unanimity is december 7th, 1941. nobody in america was against going to war with the empire of japan, nobody except as you know congresswoman genet rank and from montana and i always thought a book needs to be done about her because the first woman elected to congress, she was in congress in 1917, was one of the 50 who voted against entry into the war and was immediately voted out of congress, in the wilderness for many years and reelected in 1940 and in 1941 she is again confronted with a war vote and she says i cannot send young boys to go fight the war that i
can't go fight in myself. she was extremely thoughtful and it cost her her political career and she was out of politics by 1942. he didn't seek reelection. she is the only one. everyone in the united states senate, house and everybody across america, anybody who said we did not retaliate against the empire of japan. some people, this is not our entry into world war ii because the japanese attacked pearl harbor, and also the philippines, a number of other u.s. and british military installations, a massive strike in central and western pacific. there is no will in this country whatsoever to get into the european war.
after world war i we became isolationist. there is a say anything going around that many -- all got was that and there was a real belief on the part of the american people that wasn't worth it, that european powers was never repaid, lot of american doughboys as they were called at the time, some came back, christie matheson, the great pitcher was mustard gas to in germany and came back and died prematurely. he was never the ballplayer he was after word. which led to the banning of chemical weapons and the geneva convention. that was the country we are operating in. we rejected the league of
nations. i want to read from a memo that was sent to the white house on december 4th, 1941, and explained, put it in context. we asked about the question of the linkage between the attack on pearl harbor and did franklin roosevelt know about it, did he allow it to happen? that is complete nonsense. there is no doubt, straw's were in the wind, we cracked the diplomatic code, we were sending a coded transmissions to the embassies in washington and of course consulates around united states in new orleans and san francisco, wherever we had big naval bases and military operations in boston and new
york and all of this debris gathering information on u.s. military and we knew it. this was a memo that went to the white house and i will explain how we came by this, december 4th, 1941, when the office of naval intelligence, japanese intelligence and propaganda in the united states in 1941, on page ii it reads the focal point of the japanese effort is the determination of total strength in the united states in anticipation of open conflict with this country, japan is vigorously utilizing every available agency to secure military, naval and commercial information paying particular attention to the west coast, panama canal and the territory of hawaii. this was a classified memo until the 1980s. my son, one of our sons, andrew, was the principal researcher on december 1941, he covered this at hyde park and had a number of
documents declassified in thes but no one paid any attention whatsoever. the rest of the memo goes into extensive details about japanese military intentions, we were thinking at the time it focused more on the philippines, not necessarily on why. this does put a little bit closer to the notion that washington could have done more to alert the pacific commands, that things possibly were going to change very quickly in the pacific but i reject the idea that franklin roosevelt did it because he wanted to help his friend winston churchill. first of all the president of the united states for to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. if it had been demonstrated that he knew about the attack on pearl harbor he would have been impeached. even know about it. the second thing is i made this point earlier, the japanese
attack was on december 7th. we declared war on december 8th but not until december 11th that germany and italy stupidly and foolishly declare war on us which means now we have to respond, retaliate and declare war on germany and italy on december 11th. in the intervening time there is no nothing, no editorials, no congressional speeches, no letters to the editor to intimate any intention of hours to get into european war. as a matter of fact we, my son was going through, henry stimson was the secretary of war, his papers were at yale and we were going through his papers and found a draft of franklin roosevelt's 500 words day of infamy speech and they had typed
in a declaration of war and discussed it to declare war in germany, italy and japan but a line had been drawn through germany and italy and they decided on december 8th to declare war on japan. even then there was no political will in this country and winston churchill, he said in his own writings, was eventually going to go into the war, there was no will in this country to do so. and questions and answers. two points to make, john patrick deegan who was a friend of mine was in many ways the unofficial
historian of the american left and america in the 20th century in the labour movement who wrote books on the environmental movement and his last book was about reagan and that is how we crossed paths, ronald reagan and the making of history. in that book he established the criteria for greatness, great american presence and the baseline he established was did they saved for free many people? by his criteria the four greatest presidents were franklin roosevelt, abraham lincoln, george washington, and ronald reagan. i don't think there is any doubt if you look at the new deal, stand back and look at it and reagan always defended it and i see what roosevelt was trying to do, in still spirit in the american people, we had to try something but there is no doubt's and franklin roosevelt
and winston churchill, the world would be a much worse place today without them. winston churchill and franklin roosevelt defeated the empire of japan and nazi germany and italy. as far as the attack itself in 1967, apollo i as many of us remember burned up on the launch pad. we had been on a pretty good roll with shepard and glen and walking in space and going to the moon to fulfil kennedy's commitment before the end of the decade and looks like everything is great and apollo i in a dress rehearsal in an and fuelled rocket and 3 astronauts burned to death. the head of the nasa investigation was frank borman who was himself an astronaut and he is called before a congressional committee chaired by clinton anderson who was a
senator from new mexico and he says how does this happen? how does this happen? he used a phrase that has been used before but still applicable. cheese says it was a failure of imagination. we simply couldn't conceive the idea that this series of bizarre events, one would trigger the other which would trigger the other which would lead to these men's death. the same thing happened on december 7th, 1941. we simply didn't conceive, there were war games about it, the war department, one of the real victims, walter short of the events of pearl harbor and how they're treated after word but they didn't ever think that the japanese could move six aircraft carriers over 4,000 miles along with dozens of escort ships over 400, 500 airplanes, thousands of men, stopped in mid ocean to
refuel and come in and attack hawaii and not only that but attack the philippines, attack midway, attack wake island, all these other faces, in a massive strike. no one thought the japanese had the industrial plan, the war material even the political will to do something like this. it was a series of events but in an ironic sort of way it was a terrible tragedy, it changes the country, we become internationalists. there was a case to be made about that and other things not so good to be made about that but everything as i started saying, everything is different in america today, the most can be traced to december 7th, 1941. thank you. [applause]
>> i think we enjoyed two remarkable presentations and programs. now it is time for questions. microphone will be passed to you. first question? you got one out here. >> two questions for you. or any islands, were any transported out or were there efforts to save however many there may have been? >> all the islands have their own ethos, their own feelings.
i write about mary ann, august, in the prime of life they look out at their id cards and domesticate this large war and the holocaust comes out of these women and complicated situation at the same time they were deported an american woman was deported, the wife of a man who caused great trouble for the germans. as long as america was neutral or had not entered the war, always intervening and when they got the chance to drop the nickel on him they got rid of him. and every jewish person on the island had evacuated before the war. all of the prominent jewish
people had evacuate and these three women had come to the island just before the occupation. two of them on month before the occupation and they were working two at a hospital and one on a farm. no one knew they revers. neighbor listed in the list of alien workers and two of them the germans that if you have a jewish background you must come and sign up. president august came and signed up and said we are jewish but said two other women that they claimed converted to the church of england and never -- all three women were sent to france and france to auschwitz and they all died. >> you talk about mcparter in december of 41?
>> he was the commander of the army garrison in the philippines, anyone who doesn't have a strong opinion about douglas macarthur, and my grandparents just utterly of bored him that there are people who didn't feel that way about douglas macarthur. he is an interesting figure of history. installation was attacked on december 8th, 1941. had 12 hours notice after the attack at pearl harbor and yet did nothing and clark felt there were american airplanes wingtip to wingtip. he had advance notice. i don't know the reason why he was court-martialed or driven out the way kimmel and short
were. kimmel was the new admiral of the navy fleet in the hawaiian islands, was out of the navy by january of 1942. pretty bitter because he took the blame, the politicians in washington created it -- the roosevelt administration created a commission and asked congress to investigate what happened at pearl harbor and who is to blame and the roosevelt administration had complete control of this blue ribbon commission and roosevelt simply asked the house and senate, they complied. and somebody has to be blamed and it felt to walter short who is head of the army at the hawaiian islands in january of 1942 and husband kimmel even though the navy has done a number of studies and reports
afterwards to complete the -- i have one of them here, exonerate these two men and our own government, the military code, and the u.s. embassy in washington going to the white house and the war department but it wasn't going to kimmel or short or any of our overseas commanders but macarthur has the advantage because he had been told by every means possible, short wave radio, telegrams, wire services radio, all these other installations have been hit and yet he does nothing. macarthur was a political legacy, his father won the congressional medal of honor in the civil war, he was a career military officer, he was a good friend of franklin roosevelt,
very good friends with henry and clare luce, the week before they had done a pretty fine profile of mcarthur on the cover of life magazine the week before december 7th, 1941, so he had enormous political support. was a very popular man. i suspect that factored allotting to it, why macarthur wasn't forced out the way kimmel and short were forced out. in the carter's defense, he did go to australia and did end a mounting a counter-offensive of the australian coast planned to drive all the way to japan and stopped because we dropped the bomb on hiroshima and nagasaki. >> i have a question for cheryl jorgensen-earp back to the
advance notice. interested in the evacuation process. how much notice and to what led to evacuate it and what didn't? was that a government down process or individual decisions? how early did they know occupation was coming? >> they could see it coming as germans were sleeping across france. by the time they get to dunkirk and we have the miracle of the little votes, the hole dunkirk thing, they felt they could be occupied. evacuation were still going on. at the moment the germans occupied the island, the first thing they did was stray far harder and evaluating people, some of them pulled away during this major air raid in which 30 people were killed, some of the
vote took off so quickly that people were on board to say goodbye to a friend and were carried off. others, some had boarded and some of the family were still on the dock when the boat left. was very much an individual decision and a very difficult one. some of the direst state, reverend ford say stayed because he felt was his christian duty to stay with his congregation. for the young men it was very difficult. you had young men who were 17 or 18 years old and really not old enough to fight at that point but later they were old enough and many of them wish they had evacuated but attended to state to take care of their parents or to work on many of these were farmers and they needed them. that is quite a substantial part in the book where i talk about that decision and how they made it. some wanted elderly parents to
go with them who couldn't so they would stay to be with them. very much an individual decision, some of course like dr. montagu who was jewish and was urged for someone as prominent as he was was urged to evacuate. most of the time it came down to the individual. >> i have a question. how unanimous was the media. >> actually that is a great question. nobody questioned anything. columnist here and there coming out of washington. there was an interesting mandate, and forced by the association, a directive that came from the government and the
navy and the fcc, specifically said what they could not do. you could not broadcast rumors, ship movements, troop movements, rumor, innuendo, you couldn't use the war for commercial purposes. you couldn't say here is the war news budget by campbell's soup. the memo was very specific which said the government will take away your property and shut it down or take control for the duration of the emergency if you follow these structures so there was very orbital almost no criticism whatsoever of the u.s. government. it is hard to believe. the same feeling was going on after september 11th, not knowing, abject fear, it you compound with a lack of
information, that there were rumors of bombings in new york, washington, boston, los angeles, san francisco, they did blackout, newspapers were printing rumors of all this stuff. roosevelt goes on national radio and takes it to the media and lectures them about don't print any more rumors, don't print anything that is not official fact or war news coming from the white house for the war department, teammates in to the media age radio broadcast from the white house a couple days after which i want to make one point. as far as the media goes, we all think the first official pronouncement from the government for roosevelt for the roosevelt white house was december 8th, 1941, his speech in congress, was not true.
pablo larrazabal gave the first broadcast from the position of the roosevelt family and in many ways position the national government, at a regular radio show and she went on national radio the night of december 7th and talked about more out, her own four suns one who was on a ship at sea and the eventually all four boilers, roosevelt boys went into war service and served honorably. talked about people not being scared. she had one piece of information which was interesting, the first lady of the united states and she said in that radio broadcast the president was meeting at that time when the japanese were bombing with the japanese ambassador which is not true. the japanese ambassador was meeting with the secretary of state at the time and that date december 7th, fdr was meeting
with the chinese diplomat but not representative of japan. even then in the close proximity of the white house, the information is not accurate all time. >> thank you. anyone else? over here? the last question. >> a couple of questions. what in heaven's name did germany want with the silents? >> we can't hear you over here. >> i am sorry. what did germany want with these islands? i can to imagine they are all that strategic and what is the source of those photographs? they look like police lineups. >> the first question, the channel islands ended up being part of hitler's fortress. he thought about an incredible wall that would be set up around
newly occupied france and as he is taking a areas, fortress, concrete emplacements and watchtowers left there. perhaps could use it for invasion of england but that was more likely to come from northern france. part was the pride of taking part of england and it is right there for the taking in and these were very good, growing spaces and one of the most wonderful things in their eyes with the germans who came over ritter, referred to as tomato island, they raise so many tomatoes and it is a lovely area about growing crops. ft germany during wartime, kind of mixed feeling that he felt could be an asset to him.
and the second question, those were the id photographs that were taken out, the germans, they put up emplacement and concrete watchtowers. at first everyone is signed up. if you go outside the house without an identity card you would be arrested. they added these pictures to the id cards which made easier to see who it was. and he and his wife who looked worse for wear in the picture and everyone does. by that point of the food shortages are wearing on and these are taken in bright
sunlight and you can see the occupation's already beginning to wear on people. >> we have another program at 6:00 so we have to end this session here but don't forget both authors will be here on either side of the table below and they will be signing books and michael can help you out. there is a vietnam -- world war ii men went to war on troopships, vietnam exhibit out front of graffiti left on the canvases during the vietnam war and you might find that of interest on the way out. thank you all for coming. [inaudible conversations]